Social Media Week 2018

Your key takeaways as we go into 2019…

Silvia MendesSocial Media Manager

Westminster was awash with digital professionals as Social Media Week returned for another action-packed week of insights, presentations and talks. Missed it? Read on for some key highlights ahead of your 2019 strategy and what we hope to be a less challenging year for social media.

If video is not a part of your strategy, something’s gone wrong

2018 was the year of the Facebook algorithm change, and one of the best ways to overcome the drop in engagement and organic reach is via video. According to VidMob, 57% of video time is being spent on social media per day: 31% on YouTube and 26% on other apps. In fact, over 63% of Instagram users are watching Stories daily, with 45% of audiences wanting humour as the key takeaway.

That Lot found there are 400 million users on Instagram Stories. Not only are 80% of them following a business account, but 75% of those take action after seeing a post.

So, how can we use this to our advantage and how can we make our video content successful?

Firstly, the creative is key. You have two seconds to make an impact, so make sure you lead with a strong opening.

Remember, low-production content does work. Rough and ready content, particularly when used across Instagram Stories and Twitter, allows for authenticity while resonating with the audience. It’s important that we use the platform the way our consumers do.

Finally, it’s key to create video content specific to each platform. There’s no use creating square videos for Instagram Stories or landscape videos for Facebook. In fact, vertical is the new horizontal, so be sure to create and use the right dimensions. The devil is in the detail.

Audiences want to feel part of a community

During a recent study, Edelman found that brand conversations are more effective than advertising by 66%, so it’s vital that, while they’re successful, we don’t rely on ads. Social Chain rightly pointed out that your audience dictates the algorithm and so focusing on what they want will help drive engagement.

How do we do this? Focus on what the audience is searching for and let that lead your creative.

Over the years, it’s become even harder to break through all the noise. But essentially, you want your content to inspire the audience and to leave them wanting more. Being able to transport your audience to new places takes them away from the mundane, so ensure your creative drives conversation.

How do we do this?

  1. Create world-class visuals, whether they’re static or video. Explore new ways of storytelling
  2. Create WOW content – embrace animation and illustration
  3. Keep content relevant – know your audience
  4. Lead with visuals, always (don’t forget the two-second rule)
  5. Tap into timely content – those national and observation days are ready-made conversations. Use them to your advantage

Finally, and this applies to everything: push boundaries with technology and innovation. We have access to tools like Facebook LIVE, which won’t live forever, so it’s important that we use them before they expire. You never know – it may cause your content to go viral.

Trends to take forward into 2019

Thanks to algorithm changes, GDPR updates and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it’s safe to say it’s been a tough year for social media.

Below is your checklist ahead of your 2019 strategy – your bible to driving engagement and more importantly, leads.

  1. Experiment with formats and edits – make the most of the tools while they’re available. You have nothing to lose
  2. Give the audience what they want
  3. Have a clear tone of voice
  4. BuzzMyVideos believe that LIVE streaming will take over in 2019 – informative, entertaining content is still open to new trends and innovation, so take your creative one step further
  5. Vertical videos are the new horizontal
  6. UGC has no expiry date and will continue to be a key component in your strategy
  7. Finally, re-think your budget – Instagram will likely face similar issues to those of Facebook, so paid is going to be key if you want to reach your current and newcomer audience

There we have it. Here’s to 2019!